Saturday, September 18, 2010

Date Nut Bread, sans nuts

Perhaps I was subliminally inspired by my recent dates with nuts from  In any case, I picked up a big bag of dates at Sam's Club with the intention of making date nut bread.  I'm breaking with tradition and posting this on both my blogs.
I used the recipe from my favorite cookbook.  I'll list it here, since I can't post a link.

Date Nut Bread

2 cups chopped dates
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water

Combine dates, water and baking soda.  Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. The dates will soften up a lot from the combination of hot water and baking soda.  They will also fizz a little. Good times!

6 tbsp butter, melted
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used a combination of sour cream and milk since that's what I had)
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour a 9" loaf pan.  Combine egg and milk and wisk to blend.  Wisk in sugar, vanilla and melted butter, then add dates and the soaking liquid.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt and mix, then add the liquid ingredients and mix until just blended.  Add nuts. Bake for 55-60 minutes.

Anyway, that's the recipe.  I have a confession to make - I forgot the nuts.  I chopped them and toasted them but forgot to add them to the batter. Perhaps it was a subliminal thing - no more dates with nuts, ever!  Perhaps I was a little distracted.  The arborist was here giving estimates to my neighbors and I.  He was a lot better looking than the guys. He can come climb my limbs any time.
In any case, the bread was really, really good.  Soaking the dates made a huge difference.  They were tender and the bread had a great, light texture and a slightly carmelly flavor.  It was by far the best date nut bread I've ever eaten, even without the nuts. I took half the loaf in to work.  It had mostly disappeared after a few hours, even though not everyone was around.   I'll definitely be making it again, but next time I will add the nuts, and probably some chocolate chips too.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans

It's been a while since I cooked quinoa, so I didn't remember the proper proportion of liquid to grain.  I went online to look it up, and ran across this recipe.  I had most of the ingredients on hand, and it sounded good and had very positive reviews.
I made it more or less as described in the recipe, with the following changes.  I had some fresh corn, so I used that, I didn't have any cilantro, so I omitted it, and I only used one can of beans, as recommended by many of the reviewers.
It is pretty tasty, and I'll make it again.  The combination of corn and quinoa always works well.  I ate it with chicken leftovers, but it would be good in a burrito or with a little sour cream.  I would probably take it in the opposite direction and increase the amount of quinoa and stick with one can of beans next time.
Don't believe the part about it making ten servings, though.  I'll probably get 4 or 5 servings out of it.